Fibromyalgia is a medical condition affecting the muscles and soft tissue. It is usually associated with pain deep in the muscles, sleep disorder and fatigue. There are no specific blood tests to diagnose fibromyalgia but it is important to get blood tests to look for other causes of autoimmune disease or inflammation, such as lupus or Lyme Disease.
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown but it is thought to be related to low serotonin levels in the brain that then cause high levels of substance P. Substance P is a neurotransmitter that transmits information about tissue damage from peripheral receptors to the central nervous system. This then creates the sensation of pain Because low levels of serotonin are associated with sleep disorders, patients who do not get restorative sleep are more at risk for fibromyalgia.
The integrative medicine approach to fibromyalgia is to work with diet and lifestyle as well as supplements. Magnesium replacement, clearing up candida or parasites, and eliminating food allergies and heavy metals is an important part of treatment for fibromyalgia. Improving sleep, gentle exercise and stress reduction programs can help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.